The rapid advancement of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies, although possibly years away from wide application to the general public travel, are receiving attention from many state Departments of Transportation (DOT) in the niche area of using autonomous maintenance technology (AMT) to reduce fatalities of DOT workers in work zone locations. Although promising results are shown in testing and deployments in several states, current autonomous truck mounted attenuator (ATMA) system operators are not provided with much practical driving guidance on how to drive these new vehicle systems in a way that is safe to both the public and themselves. To this end, this manuscript aims to model and develop a set of rules and instructions for ATMA system operators, particularly when it comes to critical locations where essential decision making is needed. Specifically, three technical requirements are investigated: car-following distance, critical lane-changing gap distance, and intersection clearance time. Newell’s simplified car-following model, and the classic lane-changing behavior model are modified, with roll-ahead distance taken into account, to model the driving behaviors of the ATMA vehicles at those critical decision-making locations. Data are collected from real-world field testing to calibrate and validate the developed models. The modeling outputs suggest important thresholds for ATMA system operators to follow. For example, on a freeway with a speed limit of 70 mph and ATMA operating speed of 10 mph, car-following distance should be no less than 75 ft for the lead truck and 100 ft for the follower truck, the critical lane-changing gap distance is 912 ft, and a minimum intersection clearance is 15 s, which are all much higher than the requirements for a general vehicle.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: November 7, 2021
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Connected Vehicles; Truck-Mounted Attenuators; Vehicle Following; Work Zones